Children in Sharow can now enjoy the village's first play area, thanks to a grant of more than £70,000.
The exciting new facilities were proudly opened earlier this month by pupils from Sharow Primary School, and the chair of Sharow Parish Council, Coun Robert Forber, said the project will make a huge difference to the lives of children and families in the village.
He said: "The village has long been in need of safe and accessible children’s play facilities. Until now, the nearest play area has been over a mile away across the busy A61 roundabout. It’s been wonderful to see the play area taking shape.”
The play area has been made possible thanks to a £73,271 from funding body WREN's FCC Community Action Fund - it's a landscaped play area with a variety of equipment at the corner of Dishforth Road and Berrygate Lane, opposite the historic setting of St John’s Churchyard.
Equipment has been constructed mostly in robinia hardwood, which those behind the project said is sustainable, long-lasting, and appropriate to the village surroundings.
The play area is surrounded by a new post-and-rail fence, and much of the equipment is accessible to children with disabilities.
WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, biodiversity and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.
Penny Horne, WREN Grants Manager, said: “It’s wonderful to see something we have funded finally open and ready to make such a difference to children and families within Sharow and the surrounding villages. WREN is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities, and this is a great example of what can be achieved.”
The play area, which has been constructed by Playforce Ltd, a company of TC Landscapes, is adjacent to the new car park, and the lease and basic facilities were funded by money raised by the parish council and local people, notably via a 2015 auction of promises.
Play activities include traditional and basket swings, springers, a roundabout and a 'trim trail,' with many accessible features, and bench and picnic table seating for adults.